FDA combats valsartan shortage with new generic approval

Mar 14, 2019

As recalls widen for the popular blood pressure medication, valsartan, the FDA has approved a new generic version of the drug. 

In the last few months, several major companies including Teva and Mylan have had to pull products containing valsartan off the shelves due to the presence of several cancer-causing contaminants. The recalls have since triggered a shortage, which prompted the FDA to more quickly bring a generic to market. 

“When faced with a drug shortage situation, the FDA employs a number of strategies to help mitigate the effects of the shortage on patients,” FDA Commissioner, Scott Gottlieb, said in a statement. 

The FDA is in the midst of an investigation into uncover why several impurities linked to cancer have been found in several types of angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) made by different manufacturers. 

In addition to valsartan, manufacturers have recalled hundreds of lots of an ARB generic, losartan, due to the presence of three toxins. 

Read the full Reuters report.

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